College Football Week 4 Roundup
Greetings, SQ fans! Another weekend of exciting college football! Let's reveal our thoughts on what happened.
1. Which team had the most impressive win?
Andy: For a team with a disappointing loss to start the season, Michigan has really turned things around. Harbaugh’s squad pummeled #22 BYU 34-0, holding the Cougars to 105 yards of total offense. Michigan’s stout defense stymied a hot BYU offense, holding its 3rd straight opponent under 100 yards rushing. The Wolverines held the ball for 38:38, an impressive feat against a ranked opponent.
David: I was hoping to avoid bias but I just can’t ignore what my Gators did. Down 27-14 with the end of the game closing in, Will Grier engineered a stunning comeback with two touchdown passes including one on an incredible 4th-and-14 conversion. Had that conversion failed, Florida would have lost to Tennessee for the first time since 2004. The team bent but never broke and showed mental toughness.
Sean: How about Utah? The Utes went into Eugene and annihilated Oregon, 62-20. Talk about a statement win. On offense, Utah put up 21 and 28 points in the second and third quarter, respectively. But that doesn’t even begin to tell the story of how well they produced. For one, they gained 79.6% of the total amount of yards that was available to them. Their highest total percentage of available yards gained before this game was 59.6% the week prior against Fresno State. It looked like a role reversal in this game with Utah looking much like Oregon has the past few years.
Robert: West Virginia. The Mountaineers absolutely dominated the Maryland Terrapins. With quarterback Skyler Howard tossing four touchdowns and nearly 300 yards and running back Wendell Smallwood darting through the Terrapins defense for 147 yards and a score, the Mountaineers offense looked impressive in setting a program record with 37 first downs. But the defense looked indomitable: Maryland QB Caleb Rowe was held to 10 of 27 passing for 67 yards as the Mountaineers picked him off four times.
2. Which team had the most disappointing loss?
Andy: The Oregon Ducks losing at home is a rarity. The Oregon Ducks losing at home by 42 is even rarer. In fact, the last time they lost by that much at home was in 1977. Utah’s Travis Wilson had a field day in Eugene, throwing for 4 TDs and refusing to let up on the gas. Oregon’s Vernon Adams only went 2-for-7 with 26 yards and 1 TD. He didn’t finish the game. Clearly the Flying V can’t replace the Flyin’ Hawaiian. Utah, of course, is a real contender this season and this will perhaps help change how underrated they have been, but a loss like this from Oregon was unexpected.
David: I agree with Andy. Who expected Oregon to get blown out on their home field? Anybody? I certainly didn’t. While I am not surprised that the Ducks allowed 62 points considering their defense is awful, I am surprised that they only scored 20 points, especially in Eugene. Where was that “quack attack” offense? It was nowhere to be found. Give a ton of credit to Utah. They look like serious contenders not just for the Pac-12, but possibly for the national championship.
Sean: For this one I have to go with Tennessee. For the second time this season, the Vols let a double-digit lead slip out of their hands. On the road against the Florida Gators, Tennessee had a shot to break the previous 10-game winning streak the Gators had on them. However, a late fourth quarter collapse by the defense let the Gators pull out with a victory. It seemed to me the play calling was a little conservative towards the end of the game, much like it was in the loss to Oklahoma. Butch Jones better get the ship right or he could find himself on the hot seat sooner than expected.
Robert: The Texas Tech Red Raiders must be heartbroken. A week after going to Arkansas and silencing Bret Bielema, Kliff Kingsbury nearly led his players to a monumental victory. Instead, #3 TCU survived when Aaron Green caught a tipped pass and got one foot down on fourth and goal with 23 seconds left. Can it get any more disappointing than that?
3. Offensive Player of the Week
David: I didn’t give it to him last week but I am giving it to him this week. LSU running back Leonard Fournette was dynamite once again as he set yet another career high in rushing yards, blitzing Syracuse’s defense for 244 yards on the ground. He is averaging an insane 210.3 rushing yards per game. Those are video game numbers, people.
Andy: It’s gotta be Fournette. As David mentioned, he’s averaging over 200 yards per game. If he keeps this up, he’ll have a real shot at breaking Barry Sanders’ season record for rushing yards. Fournette is currently on pace for 2,313 yards on the ground, a few hundred shy of Sanders’ 2,628 yards in 1988. Fournette needs to bump up his performance just a touch to surpass the greatest college rusher of all time. That’s how well he’s playing.
Sean: I’m going to give some love to a guy who plays for Memphis in the American Athletic Conference in QB Paxton Lynch. If you don’t his name right now, you probably should. With the way he’s performing so far, he’s going to shoot right up draft boards, kind of like Blake Bortles did a couple years ago. Last week against Cincinnati, Lynch threw for 412 yards and averaged 11.4 yards per attempt. If that’s not enough to make you a believer, take into account that he also ran for 52 yards and averaged nearly five yards per carry.
Robert: TCU survived Texas Tech thanks to WR Josh Doctson. The 6 foot 3 redshirt senior did his best AJ Green impersonation by hauling in a whopping 18 receptions for 267 yards and three touchdowns. To put his accomplishment into perspective, Texas Tech actually held Doctson to just a single reception in the fourth quarter. There’s a reason Doctson is widely considered the top receiving prospect for next year’s NFL Draft.
4. Defensive Player of the Week
David: Safety Jeremy Cash had a big game for the Duke Blue Devils. His 12 total tackles and one sack guided his team to an upset victory over Georgia Tech.
Andy: Oklahoma State’s Emmanuel Ogbah had 5 tackles and 1.5 sacks during the Cowboys’ win against Texas, including a half sack on the Longhorns’ penultimate drive, forcing a punt. The clutch play by Ogbah helped OK State secure a 4-0 start.
Sean: Keanu Neal deserves the defensive player of the week for me. After missing the Gators first two games of the season, Neal has come on strong and last week his performance was pivotal in the team’s win. The safety registered 14 total tackles on the night and also forced a key fumble that led to a Gators touchdown. Any time you can stop the opposing offense, and help your own offense at the same time, I’d say you deserve a pat on the back.
Robert: Middle Tennessee State’s T.T. Barber seemed to be everywhere this past Saturday. In a 27-25 loss to Illinois, the linebacker posted 14 tackles (nine solo), two tackles for loss, and a sack.
5. Freshman of the Week
David: Although he didn’t put up the biggest numbers (112 receiving yards and one touchdown on five receptions), Florida WR Antonio Callaway gets my vote here because he was absolutely clutch when it mattered. Converting on 4th-and-14, Will Grier threw a laser to Callaway who took the b
all all the way to the end-zone and ultimately gave Florida the victory.
Andy: Josh Rosen went 19-for-28 with 2 TDs and a 96.9 QBR in UCLA’s road win against #16 Arizona. The Rosen One is showing up game after game, and during this win he looked like a redshirt senior managing the game, not a true freshman in his 4th-ever start.
Sean: As David takes the receiver who made the big catch, I’ll take the QB who made the big throw; Will Grier. Grier didn’t have the best looking numbers in the first three quarters of the game, but really turned it on in the final 15 minutes. The redshirt freshman threw for 141 yards and two touchdowns, including a 63-yard game-winner. But what impressed me the most about Grier this week was the fire he showed on fourth down. Grier and the Gators offense converted five out of five fourth downs against Tennessee. That’s the reason he deserves the game ball right there. Without the clutch performance of Grier, the Gators could be 3-1 with their tails between their legs taking on Ole Miss this week.
Robert: Texas A&M receiver Christian Kirk was an absolute beast in the Aggies’ win over Arkansas. The 5-11 receiver reeled in eight catches for 173 yards and two scores, the second of which won the game in overtime. For the season, Kirk is averaging a whopping 18.4 yards per reception.